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HR Professionals Need Ongoing Learning To Stay Successful and Address Skills Gaps - New Study by the HR Research Institute

Although HR professionals tend to be highly educated, they must engage in continuous learning in order to maintain and update their capabilities. Most (95%) HR professionals have at least some college, and 39% have a master’s degree or higher. What's more, 61% have some type of certification in HR management.

The free research report, The State of HR Skills and Education in 2021, is now available for download.'s Research Institute conducted the study to understand and strategize professional development and HR training programs to help human capital professionals develop essential HR competencies. In particular, this year’s study examines the changing requirements due to the pandemic.

Human capital management skills evolve and can go out of date quickly. Indeed, about half (52%) of HR professionals believe their current level of knowledge will be sufficient for only four years or less.

Organizations are most likely to suffer skills gaps in these areas of human resources:

  • Analyzing HR data and metrics

  • Utilizing change management

  • Providing leadership in organizational activities

In addition, few HR professionals (less than a quarter) say they have expertise in important initiatives such as diversity, equity, and inclusion, employee wellness, risk management, and international and global relations.

“It’s critical right now for employers to develop their HR team for the future and be prepared for anything,” stated Debbie McGrath, Chief Instigator and CEO of “The HR department, as the heart of any organization, will have to be more proactive and strategic with continuous upskilling and reskilling.”

Download the full report which includes details on ten key takeaways to help HR departments gain insights into how to strategize professional development and HR training programs to develop essential human resources skills and competencies for the future of HR.


About and the HR Research Institute’s HR Research Institute helps HR departments keep their finger on the pulse of HR! is committed to creating inspired and informed workforces by maximizing the potential of HR professionals around the world. Almost 2 million HR professionals rely on as the foremost, trusted industry resource for education, career development, and compliance (that many people can’t be wrong!). Offerings include the largest network of HR executives, leading-edge industry research from the HR Research Institute, 13 HR-themed epublications, innovative HR education including 250+ annual webcasts, the most comprehensive HR certification exam preparation program supporting SHRM and HRCI certification, as well as helpful HR tools and legal compliance updates. has the largest knowledge base of HR practices globally and offers unparalleled training and networking for HR professionals all over the world... 24/7… 365 (just in case you can’t get enough HR). Visit to download research (always free) and to maximize HR potential.

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